The Japanese media expressed negative opinions about the selection of Masataka Yoshida (30, Boston Red Sox), who is about to debut in the major leagues, for the WBC (World Baseball Classic) national team.
On the 6th, Japan’s ‘Evening Paper Fuji’ said, “Is Yoshida’s participation in the WBC really good as he is celebrating his first year of transfer to the major leagues? Not only time to adapt to spring camp, but also opportunities could be taken away.”
Yoshida joined the Japanese baseball team led by manager Hideki Kuriyama on the 5th. Since his major league debut was ahead, it seemed unclear whether he would participate in the WBC, but the player himself showed a strong will, and the Boston club also allowed him to join the national team.
Yoshida, who was active as a top outfielder in Japanese professional baseball, realized his dream of advancing to the U.S. by signing a five-year, 90 million dollar (approximately 114 billion won) contract with Boston last month. Transfer through the posting system, not free agency, Yoshida’s former team, the Orix Buffaloes, received a posting fee of 15.375 million dollars (approximately 19.5 billion won) from Boston.
Evening paper Fuji viewed Yoshida’s participation in the WBC as a risky choice. The media said, “From the standpoint of Samurai Japan, Yoshida’s joining will be reassuring, but if you think about the player’s preparation for the first season in the major leagues, there is no choice but to be anxious.” When he goes to the WBC, he takes the time to adjust from spring camp.” 안전놀이터
He said, “As a result of seeing many first-year players in the US, it takes longer for fielders to adapt than pitchers. Starting from the strike zone, we need to understand the pitcher’s pitching form and trajectory of the breaking ball,” he said. Also, if you play left field, you need to get used to the defense in front of the Green Monster at Fenway Park, your home stadium.”
In terms of team integration, the WBC participation was viewed negatively. The media said, “The most important thing is to interact with existing players during spring camp. In the case of the major leagues, which have different countries of origin and different cultures, and have many transfers, unity is promoted through golf and dinner. Being able to call each other by name, including the coaching staff, is the first step to becoming a team member.”
Fuji, the evening paper, said, “Yoshida’s contract is worth 90 million dollars in total over five years. As expectations are high for him, he concluded the article with a pessimistic tone, saying, “If he doesn’t play from the opening game of the first year, Boston fans will boo him.”